Here are short details on each player's form, role ahead of the T20 World Cup, the men who will pursue the dream of the nation in the seventh edition of the world event of the 20-over format
Bangladesh are beginning their T20 World Cup mission Sunday by participating in the qualifying round. Recent series wins have created high hopes among fans. The Tigers have a pretty solid team on paper but need to play as a team to achieve great things in the World Cup. Here are short details on each player's form, role ahead of the T20 World Cup, the men who will pursue the dream of the nation in the seventh edition of the world event of the 20-over format.
The newcomer opener started his T20I career on an impressive note in 2019. By this time, he has played 22 matches and became a regular face at the top-order for the Tigers in T20Is. His average looks okay as the left-hander scored 570 career runs at 27.14. But the matter of concern is his strike-rate. He scored those runs facing 538 deliveries, meaning his strike rate is only 105.94. If Naim plays at the top-order he needs to give his team a quick start by exploiting the first powerplay, and hitting plenty of boundaries.
The elegant right-handed batsman is a very key member in the Tigers top-order as he has plenty of shots in his repertoire alongside being a sweet timer of the ball. But Liton is really struggling in T20Is as his last eight innings only fetched 75 runs in the years 2020 and 2021. He also struggled in the domestic T20 competitions this year as he was battling with injury. But still he is one of the key members in the top-order and will probably open the innings in the coming matches. As he is a right-hander, team management will try to keep the left-right hand combination as well.
Prior to the T20 World Cup, Soumya's form was one of the concerns in the Tigers camp as the left-hander was struggling for runs in the last two home series. Soumya scored a few runs in the two warm-up games and it’s a good sign for Bangladesh as he is one of the cleanest hitters of the ball when he is on song. His medium-pace bowling could also be useful if he gets picked but the Tigers need him mostly to score big in the top-order, and some wickets would be an added bonus.
Shakib al Hasan
The ace all-rounder is the main player in the Tigers set up as his four overs are very crucial to check the runs in the middle overs. Shakib had a decent IPL season as a bowler but his batting form is nowhere near his best. Shakib is batting at No 3 position and it's a very crucial spot to bat. The left-hander had a stellar World Cup in 2019 and the Tigers fans are hoping that the superstar will get back to rhythm.
Experienced Mahmudullah is the skipper of the side and the Tigers need their captain to lead from the front. He did not play the three warm-up games prior to the tournament because of back pain as he was given rest ahead of the main competition as precautionary measure. Good news is the captain has freshened up and is raring to go in the main event. He holds the key for the Tigers in the middle-order as he has the ability to steer his side from a tough situation or even go for shots with his big hitting abilities.
Mushfiq is often considered as the backbone of the Tigers' middle-order over the years and the experienced right-hander will be crucial. But Mushfiq is struggling for form and his patchy run is a big worry for the Tigers. The experienced right-hander scored just 56 runs in his last seven T20 innings and did not look confident either in the three warm-up games. Mushfiq needs to score in these three qualifying games for Bangladesh need him in form big time for the super 12 stage.
Afif, the new sensation of the team, showed glimpses of his talent in the last few years. The youngster has a cool cricketing brain ad can play aggressive shots even in difficult situations. During the home series against Australia, when other batsmen were struggling to score even at a run-a-ball, Afif played with controlled aggression and struck eye-catching and confident scoring shots all over the park. If top-order falls short or middle-order don’t click, the Tigers can rely on him to clear the air.
The wicketkeeper-batsman has been in splendid from in the last one or two years in domestic cricket and the good thing is he has carried his form into the international arena as well. His keeping is also a plus point for the side as he is always sharp and energetic behind the stumps. Nurul's ability to smash big gives extra edge to the Tigers batting order and he has been among the runs in the practice matches. Finally he has found his feet in the playing XI and now it’s a big chance for him to show his talent in the world stage.
Mahedi has become an utility player for Bangladesh as he can both bowl and bat at crucial stages of the match and make an impact. Mahedi has opened the bowling with his off spin quite a few times for Bangladesh in the last few series and also got breakthroughs. His one or two overs at the beginning on slow pitches could bring early strikers for the Tigers. Beside that he can swing the bat and score some crucial runs at any order in batting with his pinch-hitting a good quality to have in a T20 player.
The youngster can be tagged as a rookie player in the squad but he has the potential to become a good T20 player in near future. The left hander has plenty of shots under his belt and one thing that is noticeable is his bat swing is incredibly fast. The young left-hander is a brilliant fielder in the outfield who can save 5-10 runs for his side, which is gold for any T20 side. His chances in the playing XI can be limited but he is a good package for the Tigers.
The pace bowling all-rounder is important in the Tigers bowling line up as he can bowl in the first powerplay or in the death overs, depending on match situation. He has the ability to swing the ball, which gives him the edge, and his bowling could be crucial under the lights. The left-hander also has the ability to score some quick fire runs, which provides the squad more depth in batting. Saifuddin has improved himself as a batter in the last couple of years and he offers a good option for the captain.
The young left-arm pacer has emerged recently and immediately become an important armory in the Tigers bowling line up. The best thing about Shariful is that he has learned quickly and can mix his deliveries with pace, slower balls and slower ball bouncers, which is good to see from a young lad of his age. He has acknowledged he is learning from Mustafizur Rahman and this left-arm pace bowling pair looks promising for the Tigers.
The Fizz is the main man for Tigers in bowling armory, along with Shakib. One of the best things to have happened to the Bangladesh T20I team prior to the World Cup was Mustafizur getting back to his near best. The left-arm pacer has rediscovered his form and looked sharp with his slower balls and cunning bowling skills in death overs. Mustafizur has had a very decent season for IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals and having that experience just prior to World Cup might give him more confidence in the world event.
Apart from Shakib, Nasum is the other left-arm spinner in the squad who is having regular game times in recent series. Good form with the ball even earned him a nomination in the ICC player of the month and his confidence is sky high ahead of the World Cup. Nasum can bowl in the first powerplay and provide breakthroughs for the Tigers, which he has done doing regularly in the last few series. But pitches in Oman and UAE will be batting friendly most likely and it will be much more challenging for him.
Taskin has revived his career in recent years and returned strongly in all three formats for the Tigers gradually. His improvement has been noticed in recent months and selectors did not hesitate to pick him in the World Cup squad. Although he is not the first choice pacer in the squad, he can be a very good pace bowling option when it requires.
The experienced right-arm pacer is with the squad as a travel reserve. Rubel has lost his place in the playing XI and eventually the squad due to off-form but the vastly experienced slinging action pacer can play his part if any emergency injury of other pacers occur.